Busting 7 Myths About a Medical Assisting Career

Posted On May 3,2021

If you’re interested in the healthcare field and want to get started in a new career quickly, consider becoming a medical assistant. While medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare field, there are some common misconceptions about this rewarding, but not very well-known career choice that need to be put to rest first.

Close up of medical assistant answering the phone on a headset.

Myth #1: The Need for Medical Assistants is Declining

Actually, the demand for medical assistants is quite excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for qualified medical assistants will increase by 29 percent by the year 2022, which is much faster than the national average for all other occupations. This can partially be attributed to the growth of the aging baby boomer population. That alone will continue to increase the demand for preventive medical services, which are typically provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will need to hire more medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties. 

Myth #2: CMAs and CNAs are the Same Thing 

While there may be some slight similarities between a certified medical assistant (CMA) and a certified nursing assistant (CAN), their jobs are actually quite different. While both CMAs and CNAs can provide direct patient care, their responsibilities and duties differ. CNAs primarily handle bedside assistance, feeding, and bathing, while CMAs are trained to handle a variety of both clinical and administrative tasks. For example, CMAs might prepare patients for procedures, assist in minor surgeries, perform injections, and draw blood, they can also assist with front office duties such as scheduling appointments, filing patient charts, and so much more. 

Myth #3: Medical Assistants Can Only Perform Administrative Tasks 

Medical assistants are trained to perform a wide variety of both administrative and clinical tasks which makes them a highly unique and valuable member to any healthcare team. 

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Myth #4: Medical Assistants Can Only Perform Clinical Tasks 

As mentioned above, this is definitely not the case! Medical assistants are not only trained to handle clinical tasks, including taking vital signs, giving injections, drawing blood, and assisting with minor procedures or surgeries, but they also learn important administrative skills, such as scheduling appointments, filling out insurance forms, medical coding and billing, and more. 

Myth #5: Medical Assistants Only Work in Doctors’ Offices 

While it’s true that many medical assistants choose to work in physician offices, that’s not the only option when it comes to work settings. Medical assistants can work in hospitals, urgent care centers, medical laboratories, outpatient care centers, hospice facilities, juvenile facilities, prisons, and medical specialty offices. 

Myth #6: Becoming a Medical Assistant Takes a Long Time 

While many healthcare careers can take several years of education and training to complete, the journey to becoming a medical assistant is a relatively short one! Many medical assisting programs can be completed in one year or less, allowing you to get a jumpstart on your new career quickly. 

Myth #7: Opportunities for Advancement are Limited 

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth! There are unlimited opportunities for advancement after becoming a medical assistant. Medical assistants can choose to become specialized in a particular field of medicine or use their versatile skills to advance into another healthcare career altogether. 

Ready to Bust More Medical Assisting Myths? 

This rewarding career offers so many incredible benefits, that it won’t take long to start busting more myths of your own after becoming a medical assistant. Contact Athena Career Academy to learn more about how you can get started quickly in a healthcare career full of unlimited possibilities. 

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